Preston Athletic joint-manager Jack Lynch says the club’s home form will be key to any East of Scotland League title challenge this season.
The Panners were relegated from the Lowland League after a four-year stint in May and immediately set about a quick return.
However, Lynch and joint-manager Paul Riley presided over a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Leith Athletic in their league curtain raiser six days ago but enjoyed a 3-2 win over Tweedmouth Rangers at the Pennypit on Tuesday night.
And, as they prepare for their second home outing in just four days when Peebles Rovers are the visitors to East Lothian tomorrow, Lynch insists it is a game they simply cannot afford to lose despite the league campaign being just a week old.
“We have to win our home matches, make no mistake about it if we are to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season,” Lynch said. “It’s been an horrendous couple of weeks for us with injuries and others being unavailable so it’s been a challenge. But we’re getting a few back now so that should help going forward.
“The league right now is so unpredictable with recent results. You’ve got to match teams for heart and desire in this league. What we’ve found with the East of Scotland so far is the amount of young players in the league. They’re enthusiastic, fit and some of the quality has really surprised me if I’m being honest.”
Elsewhere, current champions Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale make the trip to Burntisland Shipyard following their midweek exploits that saw the Capital outfit triumph 7-5 over Lowland League opposition Gala Fairydean Rovers after extra time in the first round of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup.
Winless Ormiston make the trip to Stirling University and, in the first round of the Alex Jack Cup, Heriot-Watt University travel to Tweedmouth Rangers while Stevie Vinter’s Tynecastle host Eyemouth United at Saughton Enclosure.